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What to Do If You Hurt Your Knee Playing Football

Posted on November 12, 2018 by Martin Banks

Fall is prime time for a lot of people’s favorite things: turkey and pie and football, oh my. With the NFL in full swing and the holidays just around the corner, if you’re not gathered in the living room together watching football, you’re probably on the field yourself.

While football is easily identified by the copious amount of padding and helmets, not much protection is available for your knees. It’s not that protecting your knees doesn’t matter — it’s just really difficult to prevent them from becoming injured. Knee injuries are common in many sports, but in football, it’s usually why players hobble over to stretchers and sit out for the rest of the season.


Here are three things to do if you find your team taking a knee because you injured yours on the field.

1. See Your Doctor

Most people can tell if they’ve sprained or broken something, but only a doctor will be able to tell you how badly you’re hurt. Several different knee injuries are out there, as well as different ways to treat them. Go to a physician who specializes in sports medicine and get a professional’s diagnosis for your injury. You can’t always “walk it off,” and your doctor will be the best source on what to do to recover quickly.

Whatever you do, don’t just hop right back up and finish the game. You can easily turn a small injury into a big one and go from being benched for the next few games to sitting out for the rest of the season.

As difficult as it may be when you’re in the moment — think about your future after football.

NCAA Football: FCS Championship-Jacksonville State vs North Dakota State

2. Put It on RICE

No, not the side order you get when you order take-out. The RICE method is composed of Rest, Ice, Compression and Elevation. With these powers combined, you can get the swelling to go down and help your knee heal faster.

Try your best to keep your weight off of your hurt knee. Use a friend as a crutch, or, even better — use a crutch as a crutch. Skip, hobble, whatever you need to do to move without putting more pressure on your knee.

Take it easy for a little while. Catch up on some tv shows, read or learn a new language. Just stay off that leg, get plenty of rest and be sure to listen to your physician’s advice.

youth football

3. Know You’ll Be Back

While recovering from a knee injury is not fun, it’s essential to continue to take care of it and make sure you warm the bench for as long as you need before trying to get back in the game.

Once you’re clear, you can still travel with your team and support them from the sidelines.

It may not be the same, but watching your opponents from the sidelines is a great way to learn their tactics, so when you return to the field, you’ll play better and smarter.

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